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Women and Justice: The Third Annual Review of the Commission on Women and the Criminal Justice System

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2007
40 pages
The Fawcett Society's Commission on Women and the Criminal Justice System examines the experiences of women in Great Britain's criminal justice system as victims; as staff; and as suspects, defendants, and offenders.
This third annual review emphasizes three themes. First, prison is overused, ineffective, and often damaging for many women offenders. Alternatives for women offenders to serve sentences in the community must be expanded. Such alternatives must be nationwide and be tailored to the needs of women. Second, although improvements have been made in national policy on violence against women, implementation remains inconsistent, and the availability of services varies among jurisdictions. A national strategy for addressing all forms of violence against women is needed. Third, gender-equality standards must be given priority throughout the criminal justice system, so as to ensure that all criminal justice agencies provide a suitable working environment for female staff and that services provided to women victims and offenders are improved. The report notes that government efforts in these three areas have been moving at a slow pace and without adequate resources. Under a new Prime Minister and Home Secretary, along with the creation of the Ministry of Justice, the Government has an opportunity to create a new direction in criminal justice policy. This opportunity must be used to ensure that women's needs are central in criminal justice policy, whether they are victims, offenders, or staff. 115 notes